2 July 2023

Sending payments to and from Turkey

Merhaba, Türkiye! Where East meets West, the land of four seasons is one of the most ambitious economies in the world. Discover everything you need to know to become a continental cross-border payments expert with 3S Money.
Sending and receiving payments from Turkey

Turkey, officially the Republic of Türkiye, occupies a unique and highly strategic position in world geography. It bridges Europe and Asia and is an economic gateway between Eastern and Western markets. 

As a founding member of the G20 and the 11th largest economy by GDP (adjusted for purchasing power parity), Turkey is a major player on the economic stage. 

Thanks to its status as a world-leading producer of commodities (from wheat and apricots to textiles and consumer electronics), many businesses find fruitful relationships with suppliers in Turkey. 

This guide will lead you through some key aspects of the payment ecosystem in Turkey. We will cover the country's broad economic landscape, currency, consumer payment behaviours and money transfer systems. 

Turkey's economic landscape

Turkey's economy is driven by its industrial and manufacturing sectors. It's one of the world's leading producers of textiles, agricultural equipment, consumer electronics, home appliances and construction materials.  

Every day, you probably eat something produced in Turkey (hazelnuts, apricots, oregano, wheat, sugar beet, poultry, vegetables, fruit), and you probably wear textiles woven from the cotton grown in this country. 

Cars are crucial to its export figures. While welcoming various international car manufacturers (Hyundai, Toyota, Fiat, and others), Turkey manufactures electric vehicles (EVs) through a domestic brand called Togg and millions of buses, trains, and other transport equipment. 

Turkey's active defence industry was worth $4.4 billion in exports in 2022 and is targeting $6 billion in 2023. 

Global transfers in Turkey

Transferring money to and from Turkey is relatively straightforward. Most institutions can make and receive international transfers through SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications), which enables financial transactions between over 190 countries and territories worldwide. 

However, it can be expensive – especially for businesses making regular transactions to pay suppliers. 

For some businesses, the best solution is establishing local financial infrastructure, registering a company, and opening a local business bank account. However, Turkey's excessive bureaucracy can make this hard work – even for resident entrepreneurs – resulting in long waits to operationalise your business. 

Fortunately, alternative banking providers are innovating to help international businesses of all sizes access global markets more easily. With a 3S Money International Business Account, you can send and receive payments from Turkey, enabling seamless cross-border payments without opening a local bank account. 

Turkey's currency

The currency in Turkey is the Turkish lira. The symbol designates it ₺ and the ISO currency code TRY.  

The lira has had a troubled history with several devaluations and inflation. In 1960, 1$ was worth 9₺, but its value gradually fell until 1$ was worth 1,350,000₺ in 2005 – earning it an entry in Guinness World Records. A "new" Turkish lira was introduced in 2005. 

Consumer payment behaviours in Turkey

Consumers in Turkey choose to pay for most purchases by card; Visa and Mastercard account for 96% of these. However, new payment methods are entering the ecosystem thanks to increasing digitalisation. 

Internet penetration in Turkey passed 80% in 2022 after 4 million Turks connected for the first time. Further digitalisation of payments is encouraged by Turkey's demographics. The Turkish population is comparatively young (48.3% is under 30), and there is significant growth in consumers taking to social media to find and buy products. By 2027, the value of social commerce in Turkey is projected to increase to $27bn, ten times the value in 2022.  

While Turkish consumers embrace technology, they're less convinced about international ecommerce, with just 15% of online shoppers having made a cross-border purchase.  

However, Amazon established its Turkish site in 2018, through which many small and medium enterprises can access this market. 3S Money offers seamless integration with collecting payments from Amazon (and 20+ other global marketplaces). If platforms like these are your primary means of selling, our International Business Account could be the ideal streamlined solution for your global operations. 

What are the different ways to send money to and from Turkey?

Several solutions are available to transfer money to and from Turkey. They include: 

  • International money transfer specialists 

  • Bank-to-bank international transfers 

  • Online multi-currency accounts 

  • Cash pick-up 

  • Digital or mobile wallets 

Which one works best for you will depend on your business needs and operations, so we'll look at the pros and cons of each. 

International money transfer specialists 

You're spoilt for choice regarding companies that specialise in international money transfers in Turkey. Local providers such as BPN, Papara, and Turan operate alongside household names such as Moneycorp and Western Union Business. 

This transfer method allows you to decide how to receive the money. Options include bank transfer, mobile wallet, and cash pick-up from a physical location. This flexibility and range of options can make it a helpful tool.  

However, the fees can be significant. If you want a faster transfer, you'll pay a premium for it. That means the sender must pay significantly more, and the recipient will receive less. Either way, the provider pockets a healthy profit. 
With so many available options, ensuring that a recognised local body regulates your chosen service is vital.  

Bank-to-bank international transfers 

Another option is to use your bank to transfer the funds. This is a popular choice for many businesses and individuals as it's often the most accessible and convenient. However, it can be expensive: 

  • Banks usually charge a fee to arrange and process money transfers. 

  • Some banks may also charge a percentage of the total amount you're transferring (as much as 3-4%). 

  • Banks may use their own foreign exchange (FX) rates which could cost you 5-7% more. 

  • International transfers often involve chains of different banks (called "correspondent banks"), which will charge a fee, raising the total cost. 

All banks are different, so check your business account's terms to see your bank's international transfer charges. If they charge a lot, consider an alternative, especially if you plan to make regular international transfers to and from Poland. 

Online multi-currency accounts 

Money Institutions are leading providers of online multi-currency business accounts. Free from the trappings of traditional banks, digital providers offer a genuine alternative for modern business.  
As well as providing all the features of a bank account, multi-currency accounts are designed specifically for businesses that trade in foreign markets. They offer a streamlined global payments system: easy cross-border payments, a single view of all transactions, and bank-beating FX rates. 

Here are a few reasons why EMIs are so attractive to growing international businesses: 

  • Savings: EMIs offer lower fees and more competitive FX rates than traditional brick-and-mortar banks. 

  • Simplicity: All your business transactions are visible in one easy-to-use platform, accessible anywhere in the world. 

  • Scale: Your business can grow quicker with greater access to multiple markets and currencies. 

The alternative banking solutions EMIs offer enable businesses to make payments in different countries without holding local bank accounts. Find out more about EMIs here

Cash pick-up 

Some transfer providers offer the option to pick up physical cash at one of their locations near your recipient. 

This service is often an option provided by international transfer specialists, so the same pros and cons apply. It's straightforward, and the cash can often be available in minutes, depending on the opening hours of the physical location.  

However, there's usually a price to pay for convenience and the same risk of losing out to significant markups on currency conversion. And again, this solution is reasonable for occasional transfers but problematic and costly for regular payments. 

Digital or mobile wallets 

As a result of regulatory requirements in the banking sector, popular global e-wallets such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal are unavailable in Turkey.  

In place of these options, Turkish consumers rely on homegrown alternatives like BKM Express, Paycell, and GPay. These services are integrated with domestic banks and provide a convenient way for Turkish customers to make online and in-store purchases.  

What's the best way to send money to and from Turkey?

If you're a business sending and receiving regular international payments to and from Turkey, one-off transfer services will be an expensive option. 

Most international businesses will be completing multiple transactions daily. This can vary from paying suppliers, employees, and freelancers, to collecting customer payments and settling taxes. 
If you use transfer specialists or traditional banks for these regular transactions, their high fees, commission-based charges, and FX markups will add up and eat away at your bottom line. 

An online multi-currency account is a better solution for businesses with hassle-free access to global markets. With 3S Money, you can send and receive payments in 65+ currencies and 190+ countries & territories - including Turkey. 

How do I send money to Turkey? Step-by-step.

With a 3S Money International Business Account, you can send money in 65+ currencies to 190+ countries & territories, including Turkey. Here's how: 

1. Open a 3S Money International Business Account 

Once approved, your business can send hassle-free payments to Turkey using your online account. 

2. Enter the transfer details 

Add the recipient's name and account details, then choose the currency and country. 

3. Send your money 

Make the transfer from your online account and receive an alert when it's complete. 

How do I receive money from Turkey? Step-by-step.

A 3S Money International Business Account makes it easy to receive international payments in 65+ currencies from 190+ countries and territories, including Turkey. Here's how: 

1. Open a 3S Money International Business Account 

Benefit from one easy-to-use platform for all your international payments. 

2. Give customers your account details 

Get international account details in your business name to easily collect TRY payments. 

3. Receive your money 

See the payment arrive in your online account and either hold or exchange it for another currency. 

How long do transfers to and from Turkey take?

It depends on where the transfer is being sent from, where it's going, the systems used, and when you send it.  

  • Most traditional bank transfers take up to five working days. 

  • SWIFT transfers take one to five working days. 

  • Transfers between 3S Money accounts are instant. 

  • It could take longer if you send your transfer on the weekend or public holiday. 

  • Some receiving banks take longer to process incoming payments than others, resulting in delays. 

How do religious holiday impact money transfers in Turkey?

Islamic religious holidays notably impact banking and money transfer services in Turkey. 

One of the most significant holidays is Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. During religious holidays, banks and money transfer services may experience altered working hours or temporary closures to allow employees to celebrate with their families and participate in religious activities. As a result, there might be delays in processing transactions and money transfers.  
It's advisable to check the operational schedules of banks or financial service providers before making any transactions. 

How much money can I send or receive from Turkey?

In principle, there's no limit to how much you can transfer. However, some providers will cap the amount you can send in a single transaction. So, you may have to do multiple transfers if you want to transfer a large amount. 

With 3S Money, there are no transaction limits. Once an International Business Account is approved, you can quickly transfer high-value payments to 190+ countries and territories worldwide. We even offer expert support and peace of mind for clients processing high-value transfers

Transferring large amounts 

If your provider does impose a cap, watch out for multiple transfer fees. If you send payments regularly in this way, to pay supplier invoices or employee wages, for example, the costs could mount up. 

When transferring large amounts, consider the following: 

  • Some providers cap the amount you can send in a single transfer, so you may have to do several. 

  • There may be a limit on the value of transfers you can make in any 30-day period. 

  • Your provider may enquire about large transfers, leading to delays in clearing. * 

*This is considered best practice and an essential part of how regulated institutions meet their obligations. Learn more about who 3S Money is regulated by

How much does it cost to transfer money to Turkey?

We mentioned earlier how international transfers via traditional banks could be a costly way to send money. Let's look in more detail at the fees you might pay: 

Transfer costs 

  • Outgoing transfer fee: You'll most likely be charged a flat fee for sending an international transfer. A bank in the UK, for example, will typically charge between £20-£40. 
    3S Money charges just $1 (or your local equivalent) per transfer, regardless of how much you send. More about 3S Money pricing

  • Incoming transfer fee: Most UK banks charge around £7.50 for receiving payments from international bank accounts.
    3S Money charges £0.00. 

  • Initiation fee: Some banks might charge you a fee if you request the transfer over the phone or in person rather than online. For a UK bank, you can expect this to be around £20. 

  • Commission: Banks might also charge a fee based on a percentage of your transfer amount. For UK banks, this is currently around 3-4%. 

  • Exchange rate markup: Transfer providers apply their own exchange rates to international transfers, which means you'll pay more than you should. 3S Money offers FX rates up to 5x lower than traditional banks. 

Key takeaways

We've covered a lot in this article, so here are some tips and main takeaways to consider: 

Turkey is home to a dynamic and emerging economy with social commerce growing rapidly as a young population uses smartphones and social media to shop. 

Its strong manufacturing sector means Turkey is an attractive market to source suppliers. 

An online multi-currency account can be an effective solution for businesses looking to scale and easily access new markets. 

With a 3S Money International Business Account, you can send, receive, hold, and exchange TRY with low transaction costs and lower FX rates. 

Watch out for currency exchange markups, as they can eat into the money you're sending. 

When choosing a provider for global payments, ensure an independent body regulates them. 3S Money is FCA, DFSA, and CSSF regulated and uses safeguarding to protect 100% of your funds

Manage your money to help your business grow

Ready to start making and receiving payments from Turkey and access this exciting market? 

3S Money's International Business Account offers global payment solutions for businesses looking to operate in multiple countries – all from one easy-to-use account. 

Meet the authors

Matthew Ivo


Matthew Ivo is the lead Content Manager with a strong background in crafting engaging finance-related articles. With extensive experience in the field, Matt’s writing brings clarity and valuable insights to complex financial topics, captivating readers with his expertise.


Enjoy this blog?  Share with your connections

You may also like

Payment Guides

How to send money to the UK

Wherever you are in the world, transferring money should never be complicated – and these days, it doesn’t have to be. We explain how to send money to...
2 days ago
Matthew Ivo
Payment Guides

How to Send Money to the UAE

As-salaam 'alykum! With one of the world's most inclusive, innovative, and inspiring economies, the UAE is a world-leading business hub. Find out how ...
7 days ago
Matthew Ivo
Payment Guides

Sending and receiving payments from Belgium

Hallo, bonjour, guten tag! Belgium is home to one of Europe’s most diverse economies. Discover how to get your business transactions booming with our ...
37 days ago
Matthew Ivo